Ramblings of 2 Southern Girls   

Monday, February 9, 2015

Five Abdominal Exercises That Aren't Crunches

When people think of abdominal exercises, the first thing that comes to mind are crunches. However, there are a myriad of exercises that are more effective than crunches for strengthening your core and toning up. Here are five abdominal exercises that aren't crunches you can try the next time you're at the gym:

Toe Taps: This sounds easy but you'll feel this in your abs and lower back. It's a Pilates exercise that focuses on the lower abdominals. Lie on your back and have your legs up and in a 90 degree angle. Press your lower back into the floor (and maintain this throughout), then tap one toe on the floor, bring back up into 90 degrees, then tap the other. Make sure to press your lower back into the floor throughout the exercise - you don't want your back to arch.

Planks: There are so many plank variations you can start adding into your routine. The typical plank involves you getting on your elbows and making sure your back is completely straight. If you want to test this, have someone place a rod or foam roller on your back. If it falls off, it means you're not aligned properly. Your head, neck and back should all be in line with each other. Here's a video tutorial. Other variations include side planks, side planks with reach through, single arm/single leg planks, and rocking planks.

Pallof Presses: This exercise hits your entire core. If you suffer from anterior pelvic tilt, this is a key exercise to fix that problem. This one does require a cable machine. Here's a video tutorial. Remember to engage your core and keep your hips tucked as you perform this exercise (as opposed to a pelvic tilt). Don't let your body twist at all, and as you improve, increase the weight on the cable. You'll probably also feel this one in your arms!

Reverse Planks: Usually, planks are done face down, on your elbows and toes. However, with this plank variation, you'll be face up. If you're a beginner, you'll be planking on your hands. With your fingers facing forward, lift your hips up (and keep your entire body in line) and hold for 30-60 seconds. You can also make this a dynamic exercise by lifting, holding for a second or two, lowering, then repeating. This move targets your back, glutes and hamstrings, which are actually all part of your core musculature as well. (Video Tutorial)

Reverse Crunches: This is another great exercise to do if you have anterior pelvic tilt. You'll feel this in your lower abs and back. If you're new to this exercise, place a heavy object behind your head (like a kettlebell). Once you get stronger, you'll be able to do it without any weight behind your head. Lie down on your back, hold onto the object with your elbows tucked by your ears, then crunch your knees in to touch your elbows. Don't swing/use momentum. Focus on solely using your core. Bring knees back down into a 90 degree angle and repeat. (Video Tutorial)

Add these exercises into your routine to work on your abdominal strength. A strong core is important for injury prevention and in creating a well-balanced athlete. Do a combination of these exercises 2-3 times a week.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Great Tips for Getting back into the dating scene

Getting older doesn't mean that our need for company goes away. In fact, many people over 60 find themselves looking for a new partner, whether that’s due to separation, bereavement, or simply because they've been single for a long time and have decided that now is the time to find someone new.

Getting back into dating can be a daunting thing, whatever your age. But for more mature daters, the thought of looking for someone new can be particularly overwhelming, especially in an age where dating is dominated by online dating sites. New dating technology isn't just aimed at young people, however - if you are looking for new love, friendship, or companionship, there are plenty of sites out there that are designed especially for people like you.

Here’s our top tips for the over 60’s who are getting back into the world of dating!

Don’t be scared of online dating – Times have changed. Much of the stigma that was once associated with online dating is long gone and there are now plenty of ways to meet people online via dating websites. There are a whole host of sites out there, many of them dedicated to helping find people with similar interests and intentions.

Whilst these sites can seem daunting, many sites are designed solely for older daters, can take a lot of the stress and fear out of online dating. These sites are designed to be fun and enjoyable, allowing you to find people with similar interests to you and exchange messages with them so you can get to know them better before deciding if you’d like to take the next step and meet them.

Your Profile – When you join an online dating site, such as www.over60datingsite.co.uk, the first thing you’ll need to do is set up a profile. This will allow you to tell other users (and potential dates!) about yourself and about what you’re looking for. Here are some things to think about when creating your profile:

-          When writing your profile, be positive and remember you’re trying to sell yourself. Think about your strengths and interests and emphasize them.

-          Don’t make your profile too long – there’ll be plenty of time to reveal more about you once you get chatting to someone. Make it short, concise, amusing, and readable.

-          Be honest. Be clear about what you’re looking for from the site.

-         Upload a good photo. This can be scary but you are a lot more likely to receive positive responses if your potential dates can see what you look like. Also, make sure your picture is up to date, whilst it might be tempting to use one from 20 years ago, this might make things awkward when you eventually decide to meet up with someone in real life!

Make time for dating – No matter how busy you are, make sure you find time to go online regularly and respond to your messages (no one likes to be kept waiting!) Be polite and interesting in your responses and make sure you seem interested in them – ask lots of questions rather than talking about yourself!

Stay Safe – Whatever your age, it’s important to stay safe and secure when online dating.
-          Never give out personal details until you feel you can trust someone. Beware of people who ask very personal questions very quickly.

-          If you’re meeting someone for the first time, always meet them in a busy, public place such as a restaurant, cafe or gallery.

-          Always make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you should be back.

-          As much as you get on with someone, never accept a lift from them, go home with them, or take them to your home until you feel sure about them and trust them completely. 

5 Fashion Choices from Thailand

Thailand is a wonderful place that is well known for is beautiful scenery, women, and fashion. Thai fashion is well known for its dresses, flowing pants, and its focus on vibrant natural colors. When looking into Thai fashion there are five important things that you must have in your wardrobe.

A High Dress is a Must

One of the most distinctive parts of Asian styles is dresses that cover a woman’s shoulders and cleavage while still showing off her legs. These dresses present a very authentic look, and they are a great way to make persons notice your legs.

It is also possible to have these dresses made with a lot of decorative stitching. The stitching helps to add depth to the dress, and is a great way to draw attention to beautiful fabric of the dress.

Harem Pants are Very Important

Another important part of Thai fashion are
women’s harem pants. Harem pants are a great way to show off your hips without being too revealing. They also protect your legs from the sun while still allowing air to flow around them. This keeps you very cool in hot weather.

Another great thing about harem pants is that they make a woman’s stride look more distinctive. This is a great way to attract a person’s attention.

Tryout Silver Earrings

Thailand has a long history of importing silver from countries it trades with. The silver was oftentimes worked into decorative earrings. In order to get a good pair of Thai silver earrings, try looking into getting the most delicate pair you can find. Thin drop earrings are a great way to make your neck look longer.

A Wrap can make for great Evening Wear

One of the best parts of Asian fashion is that they have protected the wearing of wraps in a formal setting. Try out a plain wrap that is made out of high quality material. Also look into different cuts for wraps. It is possible to get a floor length wrap, or a long one. It is also possible to get a wrap that shows off your bust, or one that plays it down.

A lot of Thai wraps are embroidered. This looks very good, and is a great way to show off the quality of it. It is also a good idea to purchase a wrap that is only embroidered around the edges. This makes it so that part of it is covered.

Slippers are great

Try purchasing light flat slippers. They will let you get around, are comfortable, and are not very hot. Thai slippers can be bought in a lot of different colors, and they oftentimes have cut pleats in them.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Julep Snow Crystals Set Giveaway

The holidays are a mix of wonderful feelings, time with people we care about, and a little load of stress while we try to make it all work together (and in time).  We'd like to let one lucky winner take home this nail art and pampering set from Julep.  Julep nail polish is used in a lot of the easy DIY nail art tutorials on MadameAmrose.com and their color catalog is ever-expanding.  Every woman deserves a nice holiday manicure this time of year.  This special "Snow Crystals" set, worth $69, includes:
  • Brilliance Glycolic Hand Scrub
  • "Shenae" nail polish - shimmery pastel mint green
  • "Holly" nail polish - glittery green
  • Crystal Nail File
If you're new to Julep and want to try them out while you're waiting to see if you won, you can get a $58 box of polish and makeup from them for free by using the code TREAT right here.

This giveaway is open to residents of the continental US through December 22, 2014.  Enter using the form below and Good luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers have not been compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Open only to residents of the continental US ages 18+.  Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest, or Youtube. Contact brookedoesitall@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Monday, December 1, 2014

H&M Gives Back

Retailer H&M is paying it forward by donating $7.5 million of new apparel through K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, helping dress people in need this holiday season.
And you can help by donating cash on December 2, 2014, #GivingTuesday.

In celebration of #GivingTuesday, visit any U.S. H&M store on Tuesday, December 2nd, and donate at the register to help KIDS/Fashion Delivers. The cash donations made on #GivingTuesday will help K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers provide donated product from H&M and other companies directly to the people who need it most.

Can’t make it to an H&M store on December 2? You can also donate online anytime at http://www.donateproduct.com/hmgivesback

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Casual Beach Fashion

Ahh the summer. Light strands of hair, sun-touched skin and the smell of salt in the air. Some people live near the cost, some more continental, but when you're at the seaside, this is what it all comes down to. If you're lucky to live in a place like Australia, where most cities are also located on the coast, the beach is practically your second home, and beachwear probably takes up a lot of your closet.

With the rise of platforms like pinterest and weheartit, it has never been more apparent than now that small details are what it's all about. There are also many things you could incorporate into your beach attire to make it a bit more interesting and outstanding, but be careful not to go too far- when you're there you still want to focus on having fun with your friends, playing sports and enjoying the ocean waves instead of trying to locate your jewelry or fix the smudged makeup.


Depending on your sense of style and your body type, you can choose from over a dozen types of tops and bottoms, or even opt for a retro one piece. Bright neon colors will make your tan more noticeable, whereas polka-dot and striped prints in navy, white and red are classic. With a wide variety of online ladies swimwear stores in Australia, it has never been quicker and easier to find a perfect model.


From just showy pieces to clothes that will actually protect your sensitive skin from the sun, there are many things you can incorporate into your beach outfit to make it a bit more interesting. Jeans shorts are a timeless piece, but you can pair it up with a laces crochet top or a light flowy chiffon top. If you’re going for a more relaxed style, light-fabric singlets are always a way to go- chose one with an Aztec or geometric print, or one with your favorite band, singer or quote on it. And let’s not forget about footwear- if you’re going to a sandy beach, steer clear of intricate sandals and platform wedges. A good old pair of thongs or tennis shoes is the best choice.

Perfect Pair of Shades

Besides being very important for protecting your eyes against UV rays, a good pair of sunglasses can also be a cool way to bring out your fashion style. Even though not all frames will fit the shape of your face, some of pretty versatile and will fit almost any type of face. If you want a more fancy look, go for an oval, butterfly or cat-eye shape, whereas the laid-back style will be complemented better with pilot, clubmaster, roung or rectangle style glasses.


Wearing heaps of jewelry at the beach is something you might want to avoid. If not for all the crazy tan lines you’re going to get, metal jewelry can get damaged from so much exposure to water, and you would be very sorry if something were to happen to one of your more expensive pieces. Luckily, stackable friendship bracelets are one of the biggest summer must haves- they are easy to DIY and they are pretty durable and bright. Even if something happens to them, you can always make a new one with some cord, beads, shells or whatever you feel like putting on them.

Bring your long strands into a messy boho-inspired braid, put on a few accessories and your favorite bikini you will be ready for a perfect day at the beach. And keep in mind that less is more when it comes to styling your outfit for the beach, you want to enjoy your time, not stress about losing a piece of your jewelry or ripping your favorite top.

Love & Pieces is one of the fastest growing online jewelry boutiques!

What started as a simple idea has grown to one of the fastest growing online jewelry boutiques. Started this summer Love & Pieces has experienced instant fan fair and has been seeing traffic doubling month over month. The owner Elissa Spektor started Love & Pieces when looking online for some different jewelry options. The mother of two was tired of looking at huge online jewelry stores that carried tons of subpar items and no real attention to curation. "I wanted a site that had been vetted by someone with style. While I knew exactly what I liked, I was tired of wading through all the junk." She set out to build a place for women like herself.

A couple months in the planning Elissa researched hundreds of brands ultimately deciding on an initial group of fifteen fashion jewelry designers.  "I wanted a selection of fashion jewelry designers that weren't all the same and that brought something different or the table." The result is something that’s quite impressive.  The pieces are trendy and current and unfortunately will make you want to spend all your money there.  It’s a refreshing change to the big box online stores and the homemade little Etsy stores.

A background in fashion design and experience as a buyer from a large department store have no doubt been a large reason for the incredible rate of growth at Love & Pieces. Based out of Miami Beach the selection has a funky edge with a touch of bohemian vibe. The pieces range from funky gold rings to hand weaved necklaces from the UK. In addition to woman's jewelry they offer a full selection of
children's jewelry which make great gift options. All purchases come gift wrapped at no cost and they offer free shipping for purchases over $100. "We find that people appreciate the personalized attention we can give them and our customer service. I know how I like to be treated and I make sure we provide that with each and every order." said Elissa. 

Love & Pieces | Curated Online Jewelry Boutique | http://www.loveandpieces.com

P.S. Here is a funny story about how they actually coordinated their launch photo you see here